Old Friends and New Enemies by Owen Mullen

Glasgow based, fast moving thriller     

My rating:  5 out of 5     


Whilst investigating a missing husband case Charlie finds his old friend Ian Selkirk dead; an event which  brings him to the attention of the powerful Rafferty gangster family .   What follows is a fast moving thriller with mystery, twists, lots of action and high stakes to play for.old-friends-and-new-enemies-2

Set mostly in Glasgow, but with visits to the beautiful surrounding countryside and Edinburgh, this is a gritty story of how easy it is to suddenly find yourself the subject of an unwanted, very scary,  spotlight.  Will old friendships be rekindled? Can new enemies be appeased?    The opening pages of the book are dramatic, and this sets the scene for the rest of the book – no gentle ramblings here!

The main characters are well developed, interesting and easy to follow.  Glimpses of their lives and what makes them tick are given, making them very real.   Many of the places, bars and towns visited in the book exist (according to Google), and many of the peripheral events seemed so real that I wondered if they were anecdotes from the author’s past (not the gangster bits!). There are moments of violence in the book, (the Rafferty’s are a frightening family) but these are in context and necessary for setting the scene.

The writing style is great.  Lots of short sentences.  No waffling dialogue.

This book has everything – fast pace, build up of suspense, mystery, action, great characters, sub-plots and lots about Scotland.  Just my sort of book, and perfect to be made into a TV series!

(This review was written in July 2016 about the first edition of this book.  The pictures and links here refer to the 2nd edition.)

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